The Yin and Yank Race

The great runner philosopher George Sheehan talks about a certain staleness that can afflict the seasoned runner. In my 9 years of running, I’m relieved to admit that I’ve been spared. From peaks of 12 FM+ runs a year to lows of 2 races a year, the weekly enjoyment hasn’t changed much – thank God for …

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I’m racing, not running!

Progress is linearly proportional to one’s efforts but results often come in cycles. – several wise men Coming off a 22-month streak, the 2013-14 season was looking rather normal. KTM in Sep followed by 75k Ultra in Nov and finish off with SCMM in Jan. I had come within flirting distance of sub-4 times in a few training FMs and finally did …

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Softly, as in a spiritual sunrise

Two years ago, I ran in 3 races. Last year it came down to two. This year I ran the Kaveri Trail Marathon and it’s my first (and last) race for the year. My running goal for 2015 was rather basic – “just keep running”. Under normal circumstances, this would have meant following the Triple …

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Bangalore Ultra 2014 Race Report

It was the best of races. It was the worst of races. Let’s examine that adopted idiom. What IS the “best” of races? The race where you shatter your PB by double-digit minutes? Or that tough trail where you find yourself pushed to the cliff (multiple times) and you claw back some respectability? Nothing is …

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The Cult of BHUKMP

[Editor’s Note: It’s been almost four years since I started running with (and became part of) the BHUKMP cult. I never got around to writing about BHUKMP, aptly described as a “cult” rather than a group. The name itself is an acronym for the six races that every member should strive to run in a …

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Chappal mein pachattar – my first 75k ultra

[Editor’s note: Translation for my non-Hindi readers: pachattar is the Hindi word for the number 75, chappals are the Indian rendition of flip-flops, a colloquial reference to my 4mm huarache sandals. This post is a very belated race report of my first 75k ultra marathon in Nov 2012.] Just a year ago, I ran my first …

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Running with Padmapada

In Walking on Fire, I wrote about breaching my first major barrier in barefoot running. The second inflection in my barefoot running adventures occurred on Jun 21. I call this my “Padmapada moment” and you’ll soon see why. But first this story of Adi Shankara’s most famous disciple. Adi Shankara was traveling and they set up camp at …

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Kids and one-upmanship

The conversation below is between four Indian kids. Indian kids who know that marathon equals the precise distance of 42.2 km and isn’t a modifier like “5k marathon” or “10k marathon”. The conversation took place sometime in 2010. I wasn’t a live witness but my friend Shalini related it soon after. A: “My father has run …

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It’s all a vast upper body conspiracy!

It’s been a little over 3 months since I changed my running shoe. I fuss and obsess over my new shoe like never before. To the extent that I’ve taken to washing them after every run. Strange, huh? My previous shoe, the Brooks Adrenaline GTS-11 (green), has served me exceedingly well. I’ve been a ‘Brooks running …

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